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Just posted! Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM lens review

Aug 18, 2008 at 16:45 GMT

Just posted! Our new lens review of Sigma's latest baby, the 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM. This optic brings the classic 50mm focal length bang up to date, incorporating ultrasonic focusing for all camera mounts, and the use of an aspherical element for reduced aberrations. Serving dual purpose as a 'normal' lens on 35mm full-frame and a short 'portrait' telephoto on APS-C, the fast 50mm is a great complement to the ubiquitous slow kit zooms, but does the Sigma offer any compelling advantages over the camera manufacturers' own versions, or is it a case of too little, too late?

NOTE: To accompany this review, we've also published comparative test data for the Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM and Nikon AF-Nikkor 50mm F1.4 D lenses, in all cases using the highest resolution bodies currently available in their respective formats (i.e. Canon EOS 450D, Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Nikon D300 and Nikon D3). The test data is as usual available through our lens review widget, or by clicking on the yellow links in the review text.

Click here for our lens review of the Sigma 50mm 1:1.4 EX DG HSM

Sigma, Canon, Nikon, and Pentax 50mm F1.4 lenses compared

 

Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM

Nikon AF-Nikkor 50mm F1.4 D

Pentax smc P-FA 50mm F1.4
Street price $500 $325 $290 $200
Maximum format size 35mm full frame 35mm full frame 35mm full frame 35mm full frame
Focal length 50mm 50mm 50mm 50mm
35mm equivalent focal length
(APS-C)

• 75mm (1.5x)
• 80mm (1.6x)
• 85mm (1.7x)

80mm

75mm

75mm

Diagonal Angle of view (FF) 47º
47º 47º 47º
Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C) 31º
31º 31º 31º
Maximum aperture F1.4 F1.4 F1.4 F1.4
Minimum aperture F16 F22 F16 F22
Lens Construction

• 8 elements/6 groups
• 1 aspherical element

• 7 elements/6 groups

• 7 elements/6 groups

• 7 elements/6 groups

Number of diaphragm blades

9, rounded

8 7 8
Minimum focus 0.45m 0.45m 0.45m 0.45m
Maximum magnification

0.14x

0.15x 0.15x 0.15x
AF motor type • Ring-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus
• Micro-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus
• 'Screw drive' from camera body • 'Screw drive' from camera body
Focus method Unit, internal to barrel Unit Unit Unit
Image stabilization

• None

• None

• None • None
Filter thread • 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 58mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 52mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 49mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories

• Front and rear caps
• Hood
• Soft Case

Front and rear caps
Front and rear caps
Front and rear caps
Weight 505 g (17.8 oz) 290g (10.2 oz) 230g (8.1 oz) 220g (7.8 oz)
Dimensions 84.5mm diameter x 68.2mm length
(3.3 x 2.7 in)
73.8mm diameter x 50.5mm length
(2.9 x 2.0 in)
64.5mm diameter x 42.5mm length
(2.5 x 1.7 in)

63.5mm diameter x 38mm length
(2.5 x 1.5 in)

Lens Mount Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony Canon EF only Nikon F only Pentax K only

Click here for our lens review of the Sigma 50mm 1:1.4 EX DG HSM